Steven Jackson is the founder of Moon & Back, a wedding film and photography company that works all over the world. Steve’s beautiful work captures both his passion for what he does and the beauty of each location. It’s inspiring work that really speaks to how travel can inspire and elevate the moments in our lives.
Yet, his business has meant that Steve didn’t take the usual steps to travel for an Australian; not taking his first overseas trip until the business was set-up the way he liked. But it’s been worth the wait, with Steve creating a job that takes him all over the world. We had a quick chat with Steve to get his views on travel and how it has inspired him personally.
Beginning on 15th of April (Leonardo Da Vinci’s birthday), World Creativity and Innovation Week is a celebration of free thinking, new ideas and game-changing breakthroughs. Everyone has something to gain from those who pursue innovation, and travel is no different. Technological advancements in recent years have made our lives travelling much easier, unlocking new possibilities for exploring.
Google maps, translation tools, smartphones (and their cameras!); we are increasingly able to see and do more around this amazing planet of ours. To celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week, we take a quick look at some of the coolest travel tech and trends making waves in 2018.
You’re about to play a number of festivals around Ireland. Is touring with a band something you’ve done much of?
We are indeed, and are really looking forward to it- we love playing in new places. We have had two significant tours over the last couple of years, we did a mini tour around the time of our first EP (Implicit Content) with another Irish funk band called Zaska and we most recently supported Billy Ocean on the Irish leg of his European tour. Both times were super fun and insightful, and quite different to travelling for individual gigs.We are in the middle of writing our album which will see some releases this year and our first headline tour, which is very exciting. We have a lot of sick songs to show everyone and want to make it as unique a type of show to Shookrah as we can.
In your experience, how does travelling as a musician impact on the experience? Does it become more business travel, or do you fit some leisure time in?
It’s a unique kind of experience really, and I guess it depends on how far you are going. How you plan to travel is hinged on the time you have to get there and how and sound check times and doing all the necessary things you need to to be in form for performing for people goes, which can always be interesting in terms of balancing ones energy. I personally enjoy the opportunity to do so as much as we can and think there’s valuable learning in travelling a lot as a band that we need to adapt to if we want to progress to the level we want to be at. I would be on the organising side of things and where we would have made pointed trips and tried to return straight home after them, we are getting better at determining where to take time to be somewhere and rest and check things out and where it’s feasible to try and save costs by getting back to Cork. Where and how leisure happens often is dictated upon by the situation of the gig, but when we go further out in the country I centre what I see around nice food places and cultural activities not too far from the venue or our accommodation just to try and catch something of a vibe where we are.
What experiences does being a musician open up for you when travelling?
Well the obvious one is sharing our music with people and connecting with people on a personal level through our gigs, that’s one that we really get a buzz from and hope to leave with people. We get a direct life line to the mood of a place when interacting with gig crowds, or place specific nuances, or at least gain a better understanding as to the lay of the land by how people react to our music and performance. It’s amazing to read how the reaction and general demeanour of a crowd can reflect the mentality of a society even if by juxtaposition of it. Recreationally, we get the advantage of immediately being exposed to venues or a music scene that usually caters to our interests and meeting like minded people who can offer tips on other cool things to do in that way. There’s definitely more scope for making friends and having ‘the craic’ (fun), because we’re all together and are friends, so the dynamic can welcome more adventure or mischief than travelling alone might do.
There’s been a lot said recently about how hard it is becoming for bands and artists to travel due to costs. Do you think it’s still a viable option for a band to tour regularly?
It’s definitely a challenge to make it profitable, but it can definitely be worth it or feasible. I think you have to be very aware of the economic climate of music on a whole, of the location as well and the culture of gig attendance in the places where you plan to perform, because it can really differ significantly from place to place. There are ways around not losing too much money or having a band kittie/fund that facilitates that touring in itself that everyone contributes to, but it takes some serious research, planning and discussion on how you are going to get a crowd to come; eg. how to price it, how to promote it, what kinds of sets suit what crowd and how to generate extra money with merchandise. Social media is integral to music these days and getting traction for your music and the stuff you’re doing, and we are progressively learning the tricks of the trade and how to gauge what’s going to suit our band. There was a time when we would gig the same spots a lot and while it was fun for us, we learned that you have to create an occasion around when you gig, and you have to allow people to get excited enough to leave their houses ( in the likely to be pissing rain) to come and see you. It’s basically like being schooled on how to get past the Tinder conversations stage to going on a real date…who knows, maybe we’ll all experience true love.
Do you find travel (personal, business or otherwise) to have an impact on your music? If so, how?
For sure, I love going to gigs in new places and seeing what people like to get down to or what the calibre of music is like there. Broadly speaking, I would say travel impacts my music or productivity of making music in that I get more time to think, or write or take stock of my surroundings and influence the narratives with it. I don’t drive, so I’m usually a passenger going to places, when I’m not walking and/or cycling somewhere and that’s plenty of stimulated meditative time, just letting new surroundings sink into my memory and colour my mood with different ideas. I’m currently in New Zealand for the first time visiting family and friends and it’s the furthest point in the world I’ve gone to on my own and that definitely comes with an emotional response, be it fear, excitement, curiosity, love…and that informs the kinds of melodies I’ve been singing to myself, the kind of clarity I have had as to the music I want to next write and whom with.
What trip has had the greatest impact on you and your music?
I went to South Africa a couple of years ago to visit where I was born and I hadn’t been there for 15 years ago at that stage, so it was a big trip for me. It was a homecoming, a lineage finding and heart warming and straightening trip, and our last EP was written in its aftermath, which has also led to many great things. That trip definitely gave me a huge sense of perspective as to my origins, existing familial ties, the privileges I had benefited and taken for granted and the richness of my heritage. It also gave me a lot of time and room to figure out stuff about growing up, personal dilemmas and what I really wanted to see happen for myself in the following years. Songs like ‘Gerascophobia’, Cliches Pt 2, they were more introvert discussions with myself on how I was living and where my mind was at and how to better nurture my selfhood, and cultivate the kind of future I would like to enjoy. I think I gained a certain sensibility or purpose from the trip and it still acts as a reminder for me now.
Bordering Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, Cambodia has some serious competition in the tourist market. Yet in recent years the South-East Asian country has been growing its reputation as a must-visit destination.
Emerging from a dark period of war and revolution Cambodia has been steadily establishing itself on the world-stage again, with tourists flocking to absorb the rich culture on offer. Stunning temples, island hot-spots and a friendly people are abundant to those that make the journey.
For many their first encounter with Cambodia is Phnom Penh, the Kingdom’s capital. And it can be a startling first-impression; bustling and chaotic, Phnom Penh throws everything at you and invites you into the fold. We got in touch with Ruby Cray, a teacher who now calls Phnom Penh home, to get the run down on this cool and alluring city. Read on for a few of her recommendations!
对于首次接触柬埔寨的很多人来说是首都金边。第一印象可能是一个令人惊讶的; 繁华和混乱的融合，金边向你公开一切，并热情邀请你来做客。 我们与现在称金边家园的老师Ruby Cray保持了联系，让她在这个迷人的城市中探索。 请阅读她的一些建议！
There is something undeniably romantic about the humble road-trip. A constant inspiration, it’s the centre of literary masterpieces and a movie genre in its own right. But turning it from the stuff of dreams to a reality can be a logistical nightmare. After attempting a mad dash down Australia’s desert centre I certainly came away with a few pieces of knowledge I wish I had before. Read on for a few tips on how to make that road-trip an (enjoyable) reality.
低调的旅行有一些不可否认的浪漫。 一个持久的灵感是文学杰作和电影的核心。 但把它从理想变成现实可能是一个令人失望的结果。 在尝试疯狂冲击澳大利亚的沙漠中心之后，我确实希望早点有些基础知识。今天的内容是关于一些可以让自驾游成为更有趣的建议。